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Check Ups

6 - 12 Year Check Up

DIET/NUTRITION:  Children at this age should be eating a variety of foods from different food groups each day.   Try to offer several servings of fruits of vegetables each day along with 2-3 servings of dairy products to ensure adequate calcium intake.   Dairy products include lowfat milk, orange juice with calcium, yogurt, & cheese.  Children at this age require no more than 30% of their total calories from fat, which is the same as a healthy adult diet.  Most children at this age do not require any vitamins, but if you are concerned that your child does not get enough variety in his or her diet, discuss with your doctor adding a chewable children’s multivitamin once a day.  Limit the amount of sugary drinks (juice, pop, lemonade, sweet tea) your child consumes each day to no more than 1 cup, and try to offer healthy snacks (such as carrot sticks, fruit, yogurt, or pretzels) instead of junk food for snacks.  Turn off the television during mealtime and eat meals with your children as much as possible.  Try to make meals a pleasant experience for the whole family!

EXERCISE/PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:  Regular exercise is important to keep your child healthy and at a healthy weight.  Encourage playing outside and limit “sitting time” (TV & video games & computer games) to no more than 2 hours per day.  Children may enjoy organized team sports at this age, but they can also get good exercise from unorganized playing with their friends and family.  Try to make physical activity enjoyable by playing together or taking walks or bike rides together as a family. 

BEHAVIOR/DISCIPLINE:  Provide clear and consistent rules for your child, and make consequences consistent for bad behavior.  Praise for good behavior often works better than punishment for bad behavior, but make sure you carry out whatever penalty you have discussed for broken rules, so your child learns that bad behavior will not be tolerated and takes your rules seriously.   Withholding privileges, such as television or computer time, can be effective.

DENTAL CARE:  Children should be regularly seeing a dentist twice a year and should be brushing their teeth at bedtime and in the mornings. 

CAR SAFETY:    As of July 1, 2005 Indiana law requires children less than 8 years old to ride in booster seats.  After age 8, children still to be buckled up with a regular seatbelt.  To teach your children the importance of seat belt safety, model good behavior by always wearing your own seat belt and teaching your child that your car does not move until everyone is buckled up.  Children under 12 years should not ride in a front seat with an airbag. 

SAFETY:  Bicycle helmets are important for all kids who ride bicycles, even if they do not ride far from home.  Again it is important to model good behavior and wear your own helmet if you ever ride a bike.  Make sure that smoke detectors in your house function properly at all times by regularly changing batteries or testing them.  Teach your children not to take things from strangers and never to walk away with or get in a car with someone they do not know.  Also children should learn how to dial 911 for emergencies only and need to know their phone number and address in case they ever need to call for help.  Use sunscreen with an SPF>15  and insect repellent as needed in the summer to avoid sunburn and insect bites.